Rob van der Pas (Veghel) "Winning prizes per 100...that's the art"
30 Jan 2024
Veghel: Rob van der Pas has been involved in pigeon racing since the age of 17. In the early years, his father's name was also included in the results but dad never had a pigeon in his hands, so to speak. "Pigeon sport is pure hobby for me" Rob starts his story "but it's not because it's a hobby that you can't be fanatical. When you go out to work every day it is not easy to squeeze in between the toppers, but provided I have a limited pigeon team I manage quite well. I look after the pigeons in the morning before I go to work and in the racing season, if it is light enough, I release the widowers already and make sure they are inside before I go to work. This unfortunately doesn't always work out and if so I leave the loft open so they can always get inside. This does not happen often and if it is often the same one, I leave it outside until I get home, which often helps.
The basis of my colony is largely built up with pigeons from Nico Pronk from Mill, Fernand Marien from Tielen and the "153 line" of Gerrit van Schaijk, Berghem (the "153" was bred by me, but has flown fantastic with Gerrit and it also turns out to be a real breeding mother), also a sister of the "Gien hen" of Lambert van Erp, Berghem is very successful here.
In terms of pigeon racing, my preference is for middle-distance and long-distance races. I have a total of 3 lofts, two of which are playing lofts. One loft is for the youngsters, which is 3 metres wide and 1.8 metres deep, with 2 sections and a run in front of it. The other loft consists of 4 sections of 1.5 metres, with 2 for the widowers, 1 for the breeders and 1 for the racing hens.
I play both pure and double widowhood. I use my breeders, both cocks and hens, as partners for the better racers. In my opinion, this has two advantages: the breeders don't have to raise youngsters all year round and the better racers always have their partner at home.
Breeding usually starts around Boxing Day, then I have a day off to put the pigeons together and in the following weekend I try to get them fixed in two days so that they can all be released at the same time the following week. I usually breed about 70 youngsters for my own use.
Care during the season
On returning home, they are given a fairly light mixture namely 50% Gerry Plus IC and 25% Champion Plus IC and 25% Super Diet. Minerals from Fernand Marien then go on top of this. When they come home, there is more than enough food ready in their own living trough (water is also in the living trough). They can eat as much as they want and the feed is not taken away until the next morning. The day after coming home, the same mixture is on the menu. The cocks again have a whole day's feed at their disposal but for the hens the table is cleared once they have had enough. Then they switch to 80% Champion Plus IC and 20% Gerry Plus IC. The last 3 days they get 100% fly feed, which consists of 1 bag Champion Plus Black Label, 1 bag Champion Plus IC (without black corn) and 1 bag Superstar Plus IC. If the distances get further, I also use Energy Plus IC 2 to 3 times a week. This mixture consists mainly of fatty grains and seeds.
The day before basketing, almost always on Thursday, I mix condition powder from Fernand Marien over the feed. If basketing for a one-day long distance race on Thursday and a sprint race on Friday, they still get this on Thursday. They also get some grit, redstone and candy seed about 3 times a week. If they predict headwinds at the weekend, I start 100% flight feed a day earlier.
After the flight, the pairs are almost always allowed to stay together until the next morning. In the morning I separate them again. Once separated, the pigeons get an obligatory lukewarm bath during which I massage the muscles. You can see afterwards that they are actually ready to be basketed again.
In terms of medical care, I follow the advice of Dr Fernand Mariën and those who know Mariën know that the door of the medicine cabinet is hardly ever opened. As for by-products, these also come from Dr Mariën, namely his syrup once a month and the minerals and condition powder over the feed once a week.
An advice I want to give beginning fanciers is to hold their pigeons in their hands as much as possible. That way you feel everything much better. Are the pigeons well recovered, are they already round, etc.? You also get to know your pigeons better individually.
Prizes per 100
To me, a good racing pigeon is a pigeon that can really fly head first, and then I'm mainly talking about 1 out of 100 prizes. As a young pigeon and a yearling, the number of prizes is not that important yet, but they do have to show that they can come home early. You often see that as the pigeons get older, they miss fewer and fewer prizes.
For 2024 I have no goals, then I will move to Werkendam and because I will also look for other work I decided not to participate in the races for one year.
That is therefore the reason why I am now putting my best pigeons in an online auction Pigeon Bids.
This auction ends Wednesday 31 January at 2 p.m. (c.e.t).